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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, December 12, 2014
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Sol Y Sombra
with Rex Remetio


The world is made of complaints --- and maybe, considering human nature, that’s a given. The lucky fortunate of this planet are complaining that life is too short; the miserable complain that its too long. Those who live in the frigid zones complain that the weather is too cold; and here in the tropics that the sun is too hot.

Complaints. Complaints. Complaints.

We complain about corruption in the government, but appear to tolerate and sometimes even admire the artful shenanigans of some politicians.

The environment? Of course we complain. The force of the typhoons we can not tolerate (and why should we?), though knowing that typhoons are out of human hands. But are they? Climatologists tell us that global warming will slowly erode the stability of the weather and make it more destructive. So who caused global warming? Is it not because the artifacts, the activity of humans contribute vastly to the process? In a sense nature is just throwing back at us what we have thrown at her.

We may have to realize , that everything in this world has a price. The best things in life, inspite of the lyrics of a famous song, are not free. We have to pay the price. What the whole world is trying to do is to lower the price - to bargain, and slow down the rate of climate change.

And forgive this digression on the transitoriness of love, of its brittleness that shatter in the fact of absence and distance. Don’t we often grieve before the grave that carries the sign: “Here lies love”?

But then, there are loves and loves, themes of great novels, of great books. Romeo and Juliet, Plutarch and Laura, Anthony and Cleopatra. ( The last may not be about love --- but power and politics).

And what about the complaints of the rich neighbors of Pacquiao in Forbes Park that too many ill-dressed people visiting the Pacquiao mansion caused the owner (Pacquiao) to offer it for sale. (Visual pollution?).

And what about the complaints that people bandy around like: stupid, idiot, ass-hole, moron, M-F (I won’t spell it out here so just figure it out). What can psychologists opine about this linguistic assaults and denigrations?

On the religious front also are complaints. For instance an item is this paper (Nov. 29) reports that rights activists are protesting the mass slaughter of animals, ranging from buffaloes to rats by Hindu devotees in Bariyapur, Nepal. The heads of slaughtered animals, tens of thousands of them, are piled like hills amidst the balloons, sweets, toys and religious paraphernalia of the celebrants.

All this slaughter is for the celebration of the Hindu Goddess of power --- Gadhimai.

All I could say is maybe its okay to slaughter the rats – but buffaloes?

We can not however conceive of a situation, of a society, or important events without complaints. Complaints pre-suppose a higher standard that was not met – when we complain that what we eat is tasteless and unappetizing, we are in fact pointing out that the cook forgot to put enough condiments or salt or whatever is recommends by the recipe.

In politics, when we complain about corruption, we are saying that the ideal is that no public official dips his hands into the till. That is why people excoriate Napoles and others involved in the so-called “Pork Barrel Scandal”. (Of course, they are not yet judicially proven guilty. But here we are talking about courts; in politics the public is the ultimate judge).

When this piece comes out, it will be nearer to Christmas day. I hope there will be less complaints although I know that some will complain that Santa Claus has become stingy with his gifts; that there are too many Scrooges around. There will be beefs about not enough melodious Christmas carols, etc., etc.

In any event, forget all the complaints and focus on the supreme gift given to all mankind; the birth of somebody named Jesus, whose parents are from Nazareth but were visiting Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

All praises now. Now, no complaints.*

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